Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Quilting activities and then some

There is a list onQuilt Pixie's blog site that I have amended to only include what I have done! (I've also assumed "made" ment finished so several lines bit the dust!)

I've also added some more to the list...things I've done but probabely shouldn't...

1. Taken a quilting class (many....)
2. Paper pieced (english and foundation....)
3. Hand quilted ( how I started quilting)
4. Hand pieced (still my favorite...)
7. Gone on a quilting retreat (not enough of them)
8. Gone to a quilting convention (quilt history and restoration)
9. Met someone who wrote a quilting book (see 1.)
12. Made something using Thimbleberries fabric (not entirely of berries but I do like it!)
13. Made something using batiks (they are what got me to start using a machine)
16 Made a New York Beauty quilt (taught a class on it!)
17 Made a baby quilt (I don't even want to start counting how many)
18 Made a wall hanging (do miniatures count?)
19 Made a journal quilt (my christmas sampler)
21 Made a fabric postcard (where are they? I know I started some...)
25. Made a lap quilt (favorite size)
26 Made a twin size quilt (by accident...it was supposed to be a lap quilt)
28 Made a queen size quilt
30 Donated a quilt to charity (Linus and hurricane...)
31 Sent a quilt out to a quilter (Bonnie!!!!)
33 Given away a UFO (abondoned on a table at quilting bee...)
37 Done any Sashiko (where is that? I know I finished a pillow top...)
38 Quilted your own quilt (by hand and machine)
39 Did free motion quilting (do you mean done it well or just done it?)
41 Given away your quilt to a stranger (isn't that the same as donation?)
42 Swapped fabric ( inperson and on-line)
43 swapped blocks (see 42)
46 kept a journal about your quilting (isn't that what the blog is all about?)
57 bought fabric at an online store (frequently)
59 own more than one sewing machine (four...)
60 have a room dedicated solely to sewing (two...my husband doesn't know about the second one yet!)
61 hide a fabric purchase (how else do you get it in the house and keep the peace!)
65 worked with someone else to make a quilt
66. joined a quilt guild (strongly reccomend it)
67 become president of a quilt guild (strongly advise against it!)
68 taught a quilting class
71 made a Dear Jane block (I have 25 orphan Janes...)
72 Made a miniature quilt (guess that answers my other question about wallhangings...)
79 bought fabric at a local quilt shop (never leave without a bag in hand!)
80 travelled more than 100 miles to go to a quilt shop (I'm assuming it is 100 miles one way! Yes....)
83 make comments on someone's quilting blog
86 own quilting software
88 done any quilt research - history, interviewing quilters, etc. (favorite part of quilting)
90 donated a quilt to a museum (helped curate an exhibit...)
91 bought a quilt from a thrift store (I just couldn't leave the poor thing there...)
94 made a pastel quilt (see babyquilts...)
95 made a quilt using brights
99. submitted your quilt to a quilt show?
102 made a quilt using reproduction fabrics

I was trying to think of what other quilting activities I would add...

106 participate in a millenium quilt block/square/fabric swap
107 complete a millenium quilt
108 travel over 100 miles to go to a museum quilt exhibit

Or how about these things I've done but shouldn't have...

110 Sewn a piece of fabric to your pants/skirt by accident
111 Used the fabric purchased for a specific project in another quilt by accident
112 Prewashed new fabric with the family wash and turned it all (choose color - pink, blue, grey, green....)
113 Visited an emergency room because of a rotary cutter
114 Visited an emergency room because you dropped 25 inch acrylic quilter's square point first on your toenail.
115 Used one of your husband's/boyfriends shirts in a quilt - without asking
116 Taken pictures at a museum or quilt show without asking if you could
117 On vacation thrown out underwear to make room for more fabric in the suitcase.
118 Called in sick to stay home and quilt.
119 Realizing you left your applique scissors in your carryon bag you flirted with the airport baggage screener in hopes he'd miss it on the x-ray machine.
120 Guilted a friend into letting you have the last piece of a specific fabric that you really needed.
121 Kept a quilt you made for someone saying they wouldn't appreciate it but in reality you just couldn't let it go.
123 Told someone you didn't have any of a particular fabric left because you didn't want her to make a quilt just like yours.
124 Remade a block for a group quilt because it was too small and never told the quilter who donated it.

OK so I admit to all of the above...maybe this is the evil/bad quilter list? I'm sure there is more to add....

Happy Halloween

I just packed DH out the door with homemade brownies and a bage of candy for his coworkers. I never think you are too old to celebrate Halloween!

The wallhanging is a Tonya original! I scares my husband so I make sure to put it up every year. I also pulled out my almost finished witchy quilt...I think it has been almost finished for 3-4 Halloweens now. Maybe I'll get the final 10 inches of binding sewn down before the trick-or-treaters hit the door.

Yesterday while walking Macbeth a couple of young girls set me straight on trick-or-treating here in the village (acually they came up and asked if I was going to give out American candy for Halloween and since their Moms only let them go to houses that they know the owners could I come over to the playground and introduce myself!) The thing is trick-or-treaters will only come to your door if you have a lit jack-o-lantern and a light on beside the door. So I guess at least part of today will be spent carving my pumpkin!

It is a beautiful day here...the sun is trying to come through which I always nice. Yesterday it felt like early evening all day long! I just hunkered down and got some organizing done in the quilting room. Since we had to move the computer into the livingroom (only telephone jack that would carry the broadband!) the office/library is fairly empty. Yesterday I tried setting one of my sewing machines up in there and it was quite nice. Big window, large desk, several outlets, a door to close and hide the mess...a quiting room annex perhaps? Not quite sure how long DH will put up with it but I do need to make curtains for that room and it is so much easier not to have to carry the fabric up and down stairs...that is my story and I'm sticking to it!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Almost Halloween

Blogger is playing Halloween tricks early...it says it has posted a photo but surprise!

Here is another go....At the right is a Halloween quilt I made for my sister and her kids out in New Mexico. My niece and nephew have birthdays on either side of Halloween so it is a big holiday for them. Their names are part of the quilting design.

I'm not sure if Halloween will be as big over here as is was in the states. So far only a few pumpkins in the village. Since we are new here I'm not sure if we will get any trick-or-treaters but I laid some candy on just in case...candy I like just in case no-one shows! (I may be eating M&M's and Resse's cups through the New Year!)

I got an email from some quilters who are taking a road trip down to Bath to visit a fabric shop. This may be my first quilt road trip! Today my DH and I went to Bristol. It reminded me a bit of Baltimore but maybe that is only because of the harbor. Some interesting architecture. DH and I travel very differently. I like to read the guidebook, check out the sites on the internet, and have a good map before I head out. This morning I thought we were going out to get the paper and we ended up in Bristol...no map, no plan, soooo lost. It was fun anyway but it would have been nice....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lost Project

After working on my quilt room for 30 minutes a day I finally got to the point where I can see the floor and get the windows...quite and achievement. The bad news - in the move I seem to have lost a long term project, my hexegon quilt. I've gone through everything and the bag is nowhere to be found. The photo on the left was taken about 5 months ago and I have finished several more rows after that. The options are a) it is packed in a box labeled something totally wrong like gardening tools b) the bag was accidently thrown out either while packing or unpacking c) I left the bag in the hotel in Georgia d) the bag was put into storage and I will find it in 3 years when we return. I'm hoping for a or c but I'm not holding my breath. One more item to post in the perils of moving!

Yesterday I finally ventured out for a few hours. The bronchitis is still holding me back a bit but I was getting stir crazy. Also the sun was out and I'm learning to take advantage of it when that happens! Anyway, I went up to the village of Broadway to start my Christmas shopping and to visit yet another tea room! We forgot it is vacation week for school kids so the area was packed. Luckily we got a spot in the tearoom right away (when we left the que was out the door!) I had an amazingly good sandwich - whole wheat bread with warm sliced turkey and garlic cheese.

The roses are still out in my friends garden. She lives in a black and white thatched roof cottage. I love the house and the garden. DH loves the fact it is across the street from the pub! I love the period properties but had to be practical...there are a hundred tiny steps and wonky floorboards in her house...with my balance (or lack there-of) and poor eyesight I'd be in the hospital with a concussion in a week! So I get to visit the cute house and live in a practical one.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Macbeth and fabric

Still have some catching up to do....a few folks asked if the pets have made the transition Ok. Macbeth loves all the walks and the different animals we run into. He is not, unfortunately, as well behaved at the English dogs. He loves everyone so that isn't a problem, but walking on a leash isn't his favorite activity and he is very stubborn! (note tail down in the photo means he is digging in his paws and not coming in after his walk!) The cats have adjusted great. Once they were freed from the cattery (where they totally misbehaved) they have been fine. The cooler weather really agrees with them and even Brownie is putting on weight!

They do not however, like all the different animals we run into...For example, last week my husband let them all out into the yard which is fenced in so should be safe. A few minutes later all three come rushing through the sliding door's small opening so fast they were on top of each other! We've been warned about minks and foxes so DH goes running into the yard. (I stayed in the kitchen with the animals all huddled under my chair.) He came back a few minutes later and said the only thing out there was a big crow or a buzzard. A buzzard? Do they even have them in England? After he went upstairs to get ready for work I ventured outside. In our yard was the biggest peacock I had ever seen in my life! And she/he had an attitude! Macbeth fortunately gained back his terrier attitude and came out the door barking so the peacock jumped/flew over the fence. I found out later from the gardener that one of the farms down the lane raises peacocks and occasionally one makes a break for it! DH really is a city-boy! It was few days before the cats would go into the yard unaccompanied. Macbeth of course forgot his early retreat and was full of himself for days....

During the last few weeks I was in the states I went to a great antique show/sale in New Hampshire. Since I was living out of a suitcase I was trying very hard not to buy anything but there was this great bundle of antique fabric that didn't take up too much space...

There were several pieces of turkey red that spanned several years. My favorite is this one with the label still attached. I think some of them may have been salesman samples.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Isn't Tea wonderful!

I am a confirmed coffee addict however I admit that nothing can compare to tea in an English tearoom. Cold from the light mist, hand and arms aching from carrying shopping bags all over town, and angry at myself for not being able to find the busstop I fell upon this tiny alleyway that had a old fashioned sign "antique textiles and tearoom." How cool is that!

They primarily had needlework (everything from tapestries to cross stitch and stumpwork) with a few quilts. The tearoom was on the third floor up a really narrow staircase but was well worth the climb. I have yet to have a bad cup of English tea, but this one was particularly good. Lots of eye candy to keep me entertained. Each table was set with a different type of china and vintage tablecloth. The cheese scones with melted cheese on top were full of calories - perfect!
My only problem...I lost the card with the address and I'm not sure I can find the shop again! I am such a dimwit! I was so tired and so out of it when I got there and when I left I was stuffed full of scone and happily not thinking clearly...duhhh. Even more bizarre - In less that a few minutes I was at the bus stop! I guess when I am feeling better and can brave the ever-changing weather here I will take the same bus and circle the area until I find the tearoom again!

PS I just reread my post and have a confession....though I love tea here there are mornings that I would trade half my sewing room for a large Dunkin Donuts Coffee and a Jelly Stick Cruller. Funny how you get homesick for food?!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Catching Up

This is my favorite photo of my dog Macbeth. He was running around my sister and her husband's garden in New Hampshire. He looks like something straight out of a Mary Engelbreit drawing!

While I was at my family's house in August two of my sisters and I went to the Lowell Quilt show...it was really good. Next time I would plan ahead to take some classes and stay in the area so I could get the most out of it. The quilts were in multiple venues so it was a lot of walking!

My favorite of course was the exhibit of Roy Pilgram's antique quilts. He showed 5-6 variations on a pattern (ie. Amish sawtooth square) often spanning timeperiods so we could see how different quilters interpretted the same pattern. Unfortunately no photos were allowed at that exhibit...

They also had many of the journal quilts from Houston. It was fun to see several little quilts from folks I know on exhibit! The photo is of one of my sister's viewing Maggie Hunt's fruit quilts - Maggie was in my guild in Georgia (though she lives on the Savannah in beautiful South Carolina!) The variation on techniques used in the journal quilts was really amazing. Some, like Maggie, used one technique or theme for their five journal pages while others did something totally different for each page! It was quite a lot to get through. I like the process though and have been drafting up some journal pages on paper...now the tough part - acually doing them!

I am trying to pace myself getting unpacked. I am however feeling the need to quilt, or piece, or just do something other then just fold fabric. My excuse for setting up the machine before the room is ready - a friend's son needs a vampire cape for Halloween...not like that can wait! Also I have a Halloween jacket 90% done and it would be a shame to miss another year...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Back for real this time!

I will fast forward through the past five months...it was 100 degrees on the day the movers came for our things, it took two days to pack out, there were several cuboards that got "missed," we drove up I-95 on 4th of July weekend with two cats and a dog who had never traveled before, it was in the high 90's in Massachusetts and my family doesn't have central AC, the heat go to my eyes and I lost a lot of vision (MS), my husband finally returned from his business trips but the day we flew to england was the day of the terrorist alerts so it took almost 30 hours to get from Boston the south of England. Deep Breath. Because it was now the end of the summer and we have three animals finding a rental/lease was difficult. We ended up with one that is big enough for our stuff, only has a few stairs, has a great garden for the pets but is not good for public transportaion (see bad eyes above.)

Next time I even think about moving will someone please remind me of this post! I am now in a house in the village of Teddington which is on the edge of the Cotswolds. The photo is hove the house we are renting. It is a very pretty area and regardless of transport we will stay put for at least three years!

Moving a sewing room is akin to madness...even worse when you go from a house with two walk-in closets and a large closet in every room to a house with no (none, zero, nada....) closets at all. My DH has absorbed many of the bookcases and cabinets that in the U.S. I had been using for fabric to now hold other things...like clothes! I've never been known for an organized quilting room but this is a new low!

Unfortunately the first sewing project is some curtains...boring but necessary! I brought a lot of fabric with me from the states so for most of the rooms I am covered. The walkout doors in the Kitchen may require a shopping trip though...even I didn't bring that much fabric!

The good news is the eyes have slowly been getting better and I can now drive during the day. The bad news...I have a bad case of broncitis (spelling) so am house bound for awhile. At least I got some sympathy from the engineer from the broadband company and after three weeks of complaining he worked for over an hour to get the internet up and running. (OK it wasn't sympathy - I found out he was a golfer and I gave him a sleeve of Golf balls and a Masters golf towel...I was desperate.) So I no longer have to pay outrageous sums (5 pounds for 20 minutes) at the internet cafe or sit in the pub with my laptop hoping the wireless works long enough for me to get a posting in. Pubs are a tough place to write here - everyone wants to talk and then I've either run out of power on the laptop or had too many pints! (or half-pints...I'm a light weight!)

So I am back into the blog world again. I will be doing some catch-up blogging for the next few postings. Partly because I've been holding onto some photos from New England and some day trips here in Old (?) England that I've wanted to show and partly because it may be awhile before I get those boxes unpacked and get quilting again!